I’m Dale Dahlin. I’m an attorney in Lincoln, Nebraska.

To see this video and transcript on YouTube click here. 

I’m going talk to you about a case that I had that involved a child that was born out of wedlock. Proving that she was the child of a gentleman who died without a will so that she was entitled to inherit from that gentleman.

This case came about in November of 2017. The gentleman passed away. The mother of the child saw the obituary in the paper and told the child, the child was now an adult, that the father had passed away, the biological father and so the child went to the funeral.

After that, she contacted me and expressed an interest in seeing if she could inherit from her biological father. So we made a claim in the estate for her. The other persons who would have inherited from the decedent, the person that died, were cousins. So for her to inherit, we had to prove that she was the biological child of the decedent. To do that, of course, we had the mother saying that he was the father, but we, of course, believed that we needed more. So we looked at
obtaining DNA evidence. To do that, we were able to get items from his home and
also were able to locate a blood slide that had been prepared while he was alive. That was at a pathology services lab.

We had to subpoena the blood slide, and then we obtained items from the home had them all tested by a DNA lab: The Human DNA lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha did the testing. And the testing came out with results that he was 99.9% the father of my client, the child.

So we ran into objections from the other side. So we had to get affidavits for a motion for summary judgment. Not only showing all the results of the testing but also that the lab was accredited, that the tech that did the testing was qualified, and the chain of custody as to everybody that took swabs from the client and her mother. Everybody that was involved in obtaining the items from the house, everybody that was involved in the blood slide the taking of that blood the preparation: the chain of custody for all these items.

We had 17 affidavits or more that we entered into evidence to prove that
this child, my client, was the biological child of the decedent. We got a verdict or a judgment from the judge in our favor and therefore my client inherited from the decedent.

So she has now been able to take over the estate and deal with the assets of the estate. So this is a situation that doesn’t come about very often. But it can come about in situations where especially if a person dies without a will and there are people of children that were born out of wedlock, they may have a right to inherit from that decedent.

You see this sometimes in the news. One of the examples of this is the Prince case where you saw that he passed away, and he did not have a will, and there were people who believed that he was their biological father. So that involved a similar situation although it was dealt with differently. But in those situations where a person is born out of wedlock, you have to prove you’re the biological child, and upon doing that, you can inherit from the decedent’s estate.

We got the judgment in July of 2019, so it didn’t take a considerable amount of time. We ran into a considerable amount of objections, and it took some time to get it done. But we were able to accomplish that for the client.

Dale Dahlin is also licensed to practice law in California.